Ryanair and Omniserv say Blue Handling – the new ground handling provider established at London Stansted Airport in February – has already delivered a 90 per cent improvement on performance and satisfaction levels compared with a year ago.
Blue Handling is responsible for the Irish low-cost carrier’s above and below-wing ground handling, providing baggage agents, ramp agents, toilet and water services, de-icing, runway services, cargo handling and ticket desk staff.
Stansted is Ryanair’s largest base, with over 40 based aircraft and more than 200 daily departures for 21 million passengers a year. Swissport previously provided ground handling at the gateway for Ryanair.
To set up the new ground handling operation, OmniServ worked for three months with the local Ryanair team, headed up by Chris Hughes, to develop and implement services.
Blue Handling is made up of 1,000 staff with just half coming from the previous supplier under TUPE regulations, while OmniServ recruited another 450.
OmniServ has developed a new brand identity, logos and uniforms – previously, there had been no single corporate identity for Ryanair’s Stansted ground handling operations.
Omniserv senior commercial manager, Rob Stefanovic said: “We wanted team members to feel part of the brand. They now have a strong sense of teamwork, passion and pride in their jobs.”
Ryanair for its part, significantly invested in new equipment, including vehicles and technologies that improved the employee and passenger experience.
Hughes said: “We wanted to win the hearts and minds of all employees, old and new, and we did that by delivering an extensive staff engagement programme that really sold them on the brand and got them feeling pride and passion again.”
Ryanair operations director, Adrian Dunne said that Blue Handling has been a “major success”, and was up and running very quickly, delivering “above and beyond what we would have expected”.
“For example, recent severe weather disruption with thunderstorms over England saw a large number of cancellations and aircraft and crews usually based elsewhere stuck in Stansted,” he said.
“I was delighted and very proud at how Blue Handling rose to this challenge with 18 ticket desks opened to assist passengers, staff from all areas of the operations pitching in to help, and all bags delivered on time.
“These efforts helped keep the level of cancellations to a minimum, with compliments from Stansted airport on how well Blue Handling had performed in such challenging circumstances.”